‘The Boy With The Coin: A Short Story’ Free on Amazon Kindle this Star Wars day!

Perhaps it would have been better if the boy had a lightsaber, but he doesn’t. Coins have greater value to fatherless children. Or perhaps it’s simply because lightsabers are probably, kind of, a little too sci-fi for this particular tale. Nevertheless, if you download ‘The Boy With The Coin’ today, or tomorrow, it is a sign that the force is strong within you!

Also, the story is about an old man, a young boy, and, maybe not very surprisingly, a coin! ‘The Boy With The Coin’ is free on Amazon Kindle on 4 and 5 May, 2017. It is always free on Kindle Unlimited.

‘A Ghost In The Darkness: A Short Story’ free this weekend on Kindle and KindleUnlimited

We’ve all known that kid in school. Every school has one. An angel. A kid who is perfect, loved by the teachers, adored by the students. But if every school has an angel, there is usually a demon hiding in its shadows. At St. Joseph’s Academy for Boys it is no different. And the angel brings out the worst in the demon.
Read my new short story, ‘A Ghost In The Darkness’ to find out what happens. It’s available for free on Kindle today (03/04/2017) and tomorrow (03/05/2017). It’s always free on KindleUnlimited.

Bobby: Man’s best friend as you’ve never seen him before

 

Also available for Kindle at Amazon

I was introduced to Elizabeth Pienaar at the NB Books Authors’ Party earlier this year. A small, beautiful blonde woman with an open face and infectious smile. She was easy to talk to, even easier to listen to, as she is smart, well informed and a good conversationalist. That was my first impression, before we started talking shop.

What are you working on/getting published?

A new book, about to be released, she said. A Young Adult book called Bobby.

Young Adult? I had read only the week before that a multitude of American authors are suddenly finding themselves ranked as YA writers without ever having intended their work for that market. Did you write it as such? I asked.

She hadn’t, but it had become labelled during the publishing process. Labelled for teens, so it could be sold to teens.

What’s it about?

It’s about a dog, told from the dog’s perspective.

Pretty much the perfect elevator pitch, I thought. She hadn’t even needed two minutes. One sentence had me hooked.

Fast Forward two months.

In a charming bookstore in the heart of Melville, the lights are on tonight. Laughter flows out of the two entrances to Love Books at the Bamboo Centre on Rustenburg Road. Leopard’s Leap wine glows in every glass. Beautiful food disrupts happy conversation. In the midst of it all is Elizabeth, taking it all in. They are all here for her, but what they really came for is the book. A book, based on true events, inspired by the life of one creature that many would count insignificant. A dog. An animal so easily taken for granted, overlooked, forgotten. For the lucky few who understand, an animal which should never be taken for granted, overlooked or underestimated.

Elizabeth understands.

She speaks with mirth about her method as a writer, about discipline and belief. She speaks about Bobby, the real Bobby, with great love, from heartfelt remembrance. She looks with reverence to the couple who gave Bobby his final home. Arthur and Ingrid. They are among the attendees.

When she reads from her book, my signed copy burns me through its brown paper bag. I could have bought it a few weeks ago on Kindle, but then I wouldn’t be reading the real thing. Then I wouldn’t be able to hold the paper copy in my hands with the same anticipation, the same first-read jitters.

The cover is beautifully simple. A girl and a dark-coloured Alsatian with hazelnut eyes. A book that every dog-lover would pick up. A book that everyone else might pass by, not knowing what they missed.

 

“People coming, people coming to look!” Elizabeth Pienaar – Bobby

 

I met Bobby on page one. I’d heard about him, read snippets about him, but until I met him I couldn’t have understood the immensity of his presence. Bobby embodies every look, every wag of the tail, every yelp, or bark or whimper of every dog who ever lived. Bobby is the book you read to your children so they can understand the importance of being kind to animals. It’s the book you give to someone who’s been unfortunate enough to have to deal with the loss of a beloved companion. It’s the book that was written expressly to remind us that dogs are not pets, or protectors or mere companions. Dogs are family. And if you treat them right, they’ll love you more than is humanly possible.

Bobby tells the story of a dog who loses his human to death. Afterwards he is repeatedly abandoned by his caretakers until he ends up in a care facility, awaiting adoption or death. Along with so many of his kind waiting for someone to notice them, there is no knowing which of the two will come first.

On the other side of the special barrier, a young girl finds it hard to overcome her grief after losing her dog to Cancer.

Elizabeth Pienaar understands the human condition. She understands what grief is, that everybody deals with it in their own way and that it often defines who we become. In Bobby we have to deal with a new form of grief, a new understanding of our own reactions to the grief of others, whether they are human or not.

This book is not just for teenagers. Young Adult is not an apt label. It should have been labelled more distinctly. It should have been labelled “For humans”. It should be sold in pet stores, at shelters, by breeders and vets. Anyone with a beating heart should get a copy of Bobby. And since you’re going to the bookstore anyway, why not grab one for your friend, sibling, parent, grandparent or boss?

Get Elizabeth Pienaar’s fantastic debut novel (R120) at your local bookstore or buy it from Amazon via Kindle. Also available in Afrikaans as Bobbie. To learn more about the author, visit her website at: elizabethpienaar.com

Nuwe Stories 2014 Kortverhaalkompetisie kortlys: Eerste weergawes

Foto verkry vanaf litnet.co.za

Foto verkry vanaf litnet.co.za

Die eerste weergawes van die verhale wat die Nuwe Stories 2014 Kortverhaalwedstryd se kortlys gehaal het is nou beskikbaar om te lees op Litnet. Een van Christina van Deventer se verhale is ook op hierdie jaar se kortlys. Kortlyskandidate werk nou saam met twee van Suid Afrika se voorste taal-kundiges, Leti Kleyn en Suzette Kotze-Myburgh, om hul verhale af te rond vir publikasie. Die finale weergawes van die verhale sal in die Nuwe Stories 3 bundel opgeneem word. Die bundel word later vanjaar, in November 2014 deur Human & Rousseau gepubliseer. Klik gerus hier om die verhale op Litnet.co.za te lees.

 

The first versions of the short stories that made the Nuwe Stories 2014 shortlist are now available to be read (in Afrikaans) on Litnet.co.za. One of Christina van Deventer’s short stories are also on this year’s shortlist. Shortlist-candidates are currently working together with some of South Africa’s foremost language specialists, Leti Kleyn and Suzette Kotze-Myburgh, in order to refine their short stories for final publication. The final versions of their short stories will be published in the Nuwe Stories 3 short story collection. The book, which appears later this year in November 2014, will be published by Human & Rousseau. Click here to read the shortlisted stories at Litnet.co.za.

PEN Afrikaans Jong Stemme Kompetisie wenverhaal

Foto verkry vanaf litnet.co.za

Foto verkry vanaf litnet.co.za

Christina van Deventer, was in 2013 een van die twee nasionale wenners vir die PEN Afrikaans Jong Stemme Kortverhaal Kompetisie vir skrywers onder dertig. PEN bied weer hierdie jaar die geleentheid aan jong skrywers om deel te neem aan die gesogte kompetisie. Die wenner(s) se verhale word ingeskryf vir die PEN International Young Voices kompetisie waarin meeste wereldlande se PEN verenigings verteenwoordig word deur een of twee jong skrywers binne hul verskeie landsgrense. Die PEN kompetisie vir Suid Afrika sluit eersdaags, op die 6e Mei, 2014. Meer inligting oor die kompetisie kan hier verkry word. Lees ook Christina se wenverhaal hier.

Christina van Deventer was one of the two national winners in the PEN Afrikaans Young Voices Competition 2013. This year PEN once again offers young writers under the age of 30 the opportunity to participate in this sought after competition. The winners’ stories will be entered into the PEN International Young Voices Competition in which most countries in the world are represented by one or two writers chosen by their local PEN organization. The PEN Afrikaans Young Voices  Competition is still open for entries until the 6th May, 2014. More information about the competition can be viewed here. Read Christina’s winning entry here (only available in Afrikaans).

 

Nuwe Stories 3 kortlys aangekondig

Die Nuwe Stories 3 Kortlyskandidate.  Foto verkry vanaf www.litnet.co.za

Die Nuwe Stories 3 Kortlyskandidate.
Foto verkry vanaf www.litnet.co.za

Dit is vir my ‘n groot eer om weereens hierdie jaar deel te wees van die NB Uitgewers/Human & Rousseau Nuwe Stories Kortverhaal Kompetisie kortlys.

Die kompetisie word hierdie jaar vir die derde keer aangebied met die doelstelling om jong skryftalent (onder 30) op te spoor en te ontgin. Lees meer oor die kortlyskandidate asook die bundel by Litnet.co.za deur hier te klik. Baie geluk aan alle kortlyskandidate!

Ek agter die skerms en Nuwe Stories 2 beskikbaar vir Kindle

Die Nuwe Stories 2 skrywers by die bekendstellingspartytjie in Kaapstad.

Die Nuwe Stories 2 skrywers by die bekendstellingspartytjie in Kaapstad.


Hier volg ´n onlangse onderhoud met Litnet na die publikasie van Nuwe Stories 2 in November 2013.

Nuwe Stories-kortverhaalwedstryd 2013: Onderhoud met Christina van Deventer

Naomi Bruwer, Christina van Deventer

Vertel ons lesers meer van jou verhaal/verhale wat in Nuwe Stories 2 opgeneem is.

My verhaal, “’n Kis vir Boel”, handel oor ’n hond wat ’n jong seun doodbyt. Wanneer dit duidelik word dat die hond aan ’n swart man behoort wat sedert die gebeure vermis is, raak die hele gemeenskap betrokke en is die hond se lewe op die spel.

Ná die aanvanklike keuring het jy die geleentheid gehad om die kortverhaal persgereed te kry met die hulp van raad en keurverslae. Hoe het jy hierdie proses ervaar?

Ek het die proses geniet. Die keurder se verslae was op die man af en die voorgestelde leesstof was interessant en aktueel. My enigste “negatiewe” kommentaar op die proses is dat ek graag kritiek van albei keurders sou wou ontvang, aangesien dit moontlik die ontwikkeling van my verhaal verder
sou verdiep.

Wat is die beste skryfraad waarvan jy al ooit gehoor of gelees het en wat jy probeer om self toe te pas?

Lees. Dit is moontlik ook die grootste hindernis om te oorkom, want ’n mens is geneig om fiksie vir ontspanning te lees. Selfs wanneer ek ontledend lees, raak ek ná ’n hoofstuk of twee meegesleur deur die verhaal (as dit ’n goeie een is) en vergeet ek om op te let na die nuanses. Ongeag daarvan dink ek dat dít wat jy lees in jou onderbewussyn saamgesleep word en ’n uitwerking op jou skryfwerk het, selfs al is dit net deur taalgebruik. Ek het aanvanklik gedink ’n mens moenie so baie lees nie, want dan begin jy soos ander skryf. Ek het intussen my opinie verander.

Die ander skryfraad is die ou een “skrywers skryf”. Baie suksesvolle skrywers sê hulle kan bloot elke ses maande ’n boek op die rakke sit omdat hulle elke dag skryf. Om elke dag te skryf, klink maklik genoeg, maar dit is nie. Dit verg toewyding en dissipline. Ek raak al beter in hierdie opsig, maar dit is ’n roetine wat ’n mens moeilik aanleer, veral omdat die lewe geneig is om tussenbeide te tree.

Wie is die skrywers wie se werk jy die graagste lees, en waarom hou jy van hulle werk?

Ek lees graag die groot kokkedore van Engelstalige ontspanningsfiksie: Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Michael Crighton, ensovoorts. Ek is baie meer kieskeurig wanneer dit by Afrikaanse fiksie kom en lees selde of ooit ’n boek net omdat dit deur iemand geskryf is van wie se vorige boek ek gehou het. Ek word maklik visueel beïnvloed: As die boek ’n aantreklike buiteblad het, sal ek dit koop sonder om spesifiek op te let wie die skrywer is. Dan gaan ek huis toe, lees, en besef/besluit agterna dat hierdie skrywer meer aandag verdien. Dus lees ek in Afrikaans oor die hele spektrum, van Sophia Kapp en Isa Konrad tot PG du Plessis en, meer onlangs, Deon Meyer. Dit is vir my moeilik om iemand spesifieks uit te lig, want ek geniet amper enige skryfwerk wat goed afgerond is en maklik lees, selfs romanse en niefiksie. My enigste vereiste is dat die boek goed moet eindig – ek lees gewoonlik die laaste bladsy in die boek voor ek besluit of ek dit koop. Dit maak dit interessant om dan uit te vind hoe die skrywer en karakters daarby uitgekom het.

Het jy enige verdere planne vir jou skrywersloopbaan?

Ek weet nie of mens regtig in hierdie verband planne kan maak nie. Ek skryf dít wat my hart my forseer om te skryf en hoop dan maar agterna dat daar ’n ontvangslokaal daarvoor sal wees. Ek hoop om as skrywer te ontwikkel en dat mense byval sal vind by my skryfwerk, maar net die tyd sal leer of daar wel ’n skrywersloopbaan op my horison is.

Vind meer uit oor my deelname aan Nuwe Stories 2 deur hier te klik.

As jy nog nie ´n kans gehad het om die bundel in die hande te kry nie, gaan gerus na Amazon vir die Kindle weergawe, of na Kalahari vir die “paperback”.

Have you had your hands on this yet?

Quote

And by this, I mean THIS:

The white-hot cover of "Nuwe Stories 2"

The white-hot cover of “Nuwe Stories 2”

Hot off the presses, Nuwe Stories 2 is the only cubic package you MUST give this Christmas. It’s not the only book you MUST own, but definitely one of them – at least right up there with your Bible and your Diary 😉 It has been available since the 15th of November… so what are you waiting for? It’s time you rush to your nearest bookstore to get it, or click here to learn more about the book and where to get it.

Your life will feel meaningless without it!

xoxo

Nuwe Stories 2 – Make space for it on your bookshelf!

On Friday I received this in my email inbox:

Nuwe Stories 2013 Book Launch Invitation.

Nuwe Stories 2013 Book Launch Invitation.

Yes, it’s an invitation to the book launch of one of the hottest new numbers on the shelves this Christmas, Nuwe Stories 2. Of course, being one of the collaborators, I get a front row seat at the event and one of the first signed copies, but that doesn’t mean you’re not invited. In fact, this here is my official invitation to each and every one of you to go out and get multiple copies as Christmas gifts, wedding gifts, housewarming presents, Birthday gifts, just-to-say-I-love-you gifts and early Mother’s- and Father’s Day gifts. Also get one for yourself, since you’ll want to read this – I promise. I read the entire collection of stories in one sitting. The hard copies will become available in major bookstores everywhere in the country in the last week of November/first week of December, so there’s plenty of time to get it wrapped up for your mom, dad, grandparents, siblings, dog (yep, your dog will want one) and of course your spouse and all his/her family. There will also possibly be an electronic version available from Kalahari and on Kindle. More about this when I know for sure.
For those of you who managed to read this far, if you are interested in coming to the launch, inbox me. For a modest amount of biltong, chocolates and wine, I might be able to sneak you in.

xoxo to all my future fans:-) (That’s how much I love this book!)

P.S.: I am able to sign books at elaborate coffee-and-lemon-meringue meetings and three course lunches upon invitation. Dedications and photographs might become more costly… perhaps a trip to the Bahamas? I’ve never been ;-P

PEN International New Voices Award Shortlist Announced

804xpstar

And the news is great! Not only will I (and anyone who is interested) have the chance to read ‘The Collective Name for Ninjas’ by the Canadian Claire Battershill, but South African PEN’s Masande Ntsanga made it onto the shortlist. Great stuff!

Read the announcement, as well as the three shortlisted stories here.

I’m off to go learn all about Ninjas!

Photograph borrowed from www.xpstar.com